We meet again in this final entry describing my trip to Osaka and Kyoto in Japan.
I'm off to bed now and I'm setting the alarm clock for solat subuh...I'm up as usual. Going to take a shower and pray. I'm getting dressed for the trip. As it's still early and way before the rush hour, I look through my bedroom window, gazing at the view surrounding Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka. It's hard to say goodbye because in a moment I'll be checking out of this splendid hotel. I don't know when I'll be back for the next stay. InsyaAllah when I have the opportunity I will.
Honestly I like Osaka. It's a fast growing city with its own uniqueness. The city folks of Osaka always seem so busy, walking to and fro in a hurried manner especially during weekdays. Yet the city's streets and surroundings are so calm and peaceful, thanks to its citizens who have great respect for the law. It's amazing to see how motorists and pedestrians alike respect each other's right of way. You can walk along any street peacefully without being honk at by a car because motorists here are not in the habit of showing their anger.
It's my last day at the hotel and only now I notice these cute little coffee cups in my room. I must have been so tired coming back late at night and going straight to bed. Then getting up early the next morning and leaving before I can even make myself a cup of coffee. Hahaha...
Oh how cute...they come with a coffee powder filter...just pour hot water over it and wait until the mixture drips into the cup...
Not to mention a foldable paper spoon that looks very cute indeed, hehehe. I'm having a cup of coffee with Pak Radie before leaving with our luggage to have breakfast and to check out of the hotel.
This is the reason why I would like to suggest to stay at Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka. It is a Muslim friendly hotel that provides a section for Muslims like me.
This is the halal food section. Even though there isn't much to choose from, I like the hotel's effort in preparing halal food and making Muslims like me feel most welcome here.
This tastes like rice although it doesn't really look like rice. Perhaps it's an Arabian dish then hehehe...
Looks like an Arabian dish, doesn't it? But that's alright as long as I have appetite for it.
This is what I'm having for breakfast. Truly fulfilling, Alhamdulillah.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention our next destination. Will be checking out this morning and heading straight for Universal Studio Japan!!! Yeayyy! Our dream destination just moments away. Hahaha...
Right after breakfast at 8.30am, we leave the hotel to board the Uehommachi Nara Line before getting down at Nishikujou Station.
Just look at how many lines there are, hahaha. You will definitely be asking around if you are travelling alone or in pairs. Okay, we'll have to change to JR Yumesaki Line now before heading straight for Universal City Station.
Universal Studios Japan
See that? That's me hurrying along with my bag as I make my way through the crowd, hahaha. Today is Monday and people are rushing to get to work while we rush to get to Universal Studio, hehehe...
This seat is reserved for senior citizens, pregnant women and special needs passengers. When it comes to this, the Japanese people are very alert indeed. Others may occupy the seat if it's not taken but the moment they notice a passenger like the one mentioned above, they will spring to their feet to offer the seat to him or her. Oh how I respect them!
Yeay, we're here. How exciting!
Oh dear, this reminds me of my kids. It's Pak Radie again...he's very attached to my kids. Upon seeing this he says "Oh, pity those kids. I'm sure if they are with us now, they are going to love this." Hmm, looks like someone's getting emotional. Hahaha...
Before entering Universal Studio, you will first enter City Walk, a place with a variety of attractions. The attractions here include Hard Rock Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co and about 30 various restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets. City Walk consists of 5 levels including the parking bay which is located at levels 1 & 2. The Osaka Takoyaki Meseum is located at level 4.
It's very cold and windy over here in the morning. Every time the wind blows, I feel like getting behind that building wall to get away from the chilliness. Hahaha...
Little Osaka that sells all sorts of things including biscuits and chocolates.
I never knew this place has Hard Rock Cafe. Kak Elly whatsapp, requesting me to get her a Hard Rock Cafe Osaka t-shirt but I've already left that place on my first day of visit. She should have told me earlier though. So now that I've found this, I'm going straight inside to get her dream Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt. Oh what luck!
There it is! There's the famous Universal Studio Japan over there. Hey, what are they doing behind that structure? Quick! Take a snapshot of them. Heheh
Fuuyo! Look at that swirling roller coaster. Sorry, I don't have the guts for it.
Taking a photo of remembrance in front of Universal Studio Japan entrance.
Fuuyoo! So many people queuing up just to get in.
Early morning and the people are already queuing in long lines.
You may also buy tickets at the counters. Ticket booths open 1 hour before the park opens and closes 2 hours before the park closes.
Alright, I'll share the entrance ticket prices to Universal Studio Japan.
Price may vary according to each entrance date.
Ticket fare for Adult (1 Day) is about RM202, with tax is about RM218.
Refer to the above picture if you want to buy any one of the Universal Express Pass.
Do get a copy of this as it will Help you to plan your activities.
For further information on Universal Studio Japan please click HERE
Another photo of remembrance.
Feeling excited as I step into this place.
Everyone is looking cheerful. Japanese people especially the teenagers are such happy go lucky people who just love to smile.
Looks like a hot and sunny day, doesn't it? But Oh God, how very cold it is over here. One moment I'm in gloves and the next, I'm taking them off to snap pictures.
The staff are always smiling and cheerful as they greet visitors to the place.
Haish! I get butterflies in my stomach whenever I see that roller coaster. Hahaha.
See the cold wind blowing. I'm shivering.
Their staff work diligently to make sure that USJ is kept clean at all times.
Oh, there is also Sesame Street here.
Okay, the first place we are going to visit is Harry Potter World. Haha...
If you are an ardent fan of Harry Potter, please raise your hand. If you have seen the Harry Potter movie, you will recognize this place and feel as if you are in the actual world of Harry Potter. The truth is I've only watched the movie halfway, hahaha. Once inside I act as if I've watched it all, hahaha...
Oh, look at those cute girls. And that Hello Kitty bag.
Okay, I'm going to frame up this one. Oh dear, my kids are going get jealous, hehe.
Feeling awed as I step into this place. Amazing how they managed to build this place just like the one in the movie.
Will you look at that? Awesome! Simply jaw dropping. Hahaha.
Is the butterbeer featured in the movie too?
This is so creepy! Just look at the owls perching on the high beam.
Feels like I'm now in the world of fantasy.
People love taking pictures here because of the magestic view of the castle.
Okay, let's all follow me into this place.
Oh, what an adorable looking child! I'd like to buy the same type of boots for Leecha but only to wear them at home, hahahah...
Will be going for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride shortly. So I've got to read these conditions carefully before taking that ride.
Feeling a bit nervous now. This looks pretty scary. But Idham reminds me that if I don't take this ride I'm going to regret it. Okay, okay...I'll take the challenge...I'll ride!
Those who bought the express pass will get in quickly. Otherwise be prepared for a long wait. But believe me, even though we have to wait till kingdom come, it's sure worth the wait.
We are not allowed to take photos in the dark so what else to do but chat away amongst ourselves. This ride uses the state of the art 4K technology. Alright, people. Fasten your seats and prepare to fly with Harry Potter in this wonderful magical journey. How amazing! Believe me, it feels as if I'm flying as fast as lightning over a range of mountains, forests while encountering mythical creatures along the way. Oh my! I must have screamed my lungs out either from my fear of heights or from all of that excitement.
Here's my little message to all. If you are in Universal Studio Japan, you MUST try the ride of Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey, okay?
Okay, having tried that, let's continue with our journey. How about a drink of Butterbeer?
Don't worry, it's just the name. This drink is non-alcoholic.
Oh, cheer up, will you? Hahahah...Yeah, feeling a little stressed over here trying to dig around in my bag for some money. Hahahah...
Would you look at this trio? The other day they had ice cream, today they're having ButterBeer. Still, it does look like a pretty pose. We'll frame it up then. *You teasing us, Kak Pilla? Wait till we get our hands on you!*
Awesome design complete with spiky icicles. This shop sells just about every Harry Potter item you can think of. So if you're a Harry Potter movie fanatic, this it the place to be.
There's a show going on over here.
Oh dear, I didn't get to watch the Harry Potter movie till the end so I'm a bit lost here. What's with the frog character? Why are they so huge? Euwww!
If you're feeling thirsty from all of that walking, don't worry, there are lots of drinks here. All you need to do is to show that money of yours.
You're going to spend a lot more than that if you're with you kids.
So many queuing up for a snapshot at Amity Village.
Okay, I'm going home now. Byeee
Before I Forget, let me share some general information with all of you.
Here at USJ, outside food is not allowed. As for breastfeeding moms, there is a room specially provided for mothers to feed their babies and to change their diapers. This room is equipped with hot water and a microwave oven to heat up baby food. There are also strollers and wheelchairs for rent here.
There are coin-operated lockers for those who wish to keep their belongings safely. There are ATM machines for those who run short of cash. And a smoking zone for smokers to puff it out without affecting other non-smokers.
There are countless number of photos in my entry that I doubt any of you would be able to go through all of them.
Another famous attraction here, Jurassic Park.
Food Court is always available for those who are hungry and thirsty.
Try this ride at Jurassic Park. It's pretty cool!
Could walk all day as there are so many things to see. Nice looking shops here.
If you haven't already picked up a pamphlet, you can get one here.
This notice will tell you how long it takes to queue up for rides and shows.
Don't know how my body got curled up this way. Hahaha...
Just the right spot to get a snapshot for a Coca-Cola collector.
How's that for a pose? Awesome? Hahaha
Hellooo! Anybody home?
Should get this one framed up for my grandchildren, hehehe. Hey, Grandma, what's with that tough look? Heheh
Here with my sweetheart. Oh please to puke now, Idham.
I bet she's freezing under that dress.
Oh no, the cold has left my cheeks feeling numb. At the same time, The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man - The Ride is just behind me. Still I'm going to have to miss it as we're leaving now. We won't have time to queue for tickets.
Pak Radie is freezing cold. Hehe
What do you think you're doing, Kak Pilla?
Oh, trying to look cute in that pose, eh? Look at those kids behind you...aren't they cuter?
Calling all Terminator fans. Come watch the movie at the theatre.
My agent, Encik Idham. What's with that style?
Idham tells me do a freestyle. So here goes.
Come on Pak Radie, let's drop in to see if we could get some souvenirs for the Kasihs.
This will do just fine. I'm sure Kasih is going to love this cute little pen.
Anyone for face painting? Step outside here, please.
If you like something cute, then Pink Cafe is the place
Oh, you adorable little Pink baby...
How excited the children are to see Hello Kitty.
Now this is really funny. I can't Help but laugh when all of a sudden flakes of snow start falling on me. I'm a bit confused at first but then I realize the snow is coming from the chimney of that building in the background. Oh, I get it. They're making snow and it's real snow after all!!
How I wish my Kasihs are with me now.
Okay, that's quite enough for now. Let's go.
Okay, one last snapshot with Glico. The moment we're out of USJ, we rush to get to the nearest bus stop to Kansai Airport to check into another hotel. The bus to the airport seldom arrives. We only have about 15 minutes before the next bus arrives. Oh dear, that's quite a distance to get there. So what else to do except to run like crazy with our bags. Phew! Made it just in time to catch the bus. If we were a minute late, we would have to missed it. Heheh.
Here's the bus stop to Kansai Airport.
The fare from Universal Studio Japan to Kansai Airport is 1550 yen per person and the journey takes about 1 hour. As the bus sets out to start on its journey, flakes of snow start to fall. Now we're pretty sure that the snow at USJ is real after all.
Do you see the snow? I'm taking this video just as the bus is rolling out of USJ.
The bus reaches Kansai Airport exactly within 1 hour's time. Oh, my stomach's growling. Come, let's have something to eat. What's best about Kansai Airport is the halal restaurants that it provides. So if you happen to be at Kansai Airport, don't miss this opportunity to eat at The U-don Sanuki. You can enjoy a sumptuous meal of Japanese food without having any doubts that it is halal.
Restaurants that sell U-don and Tempura are about the same. They operate like a food court.
See that? You will pass the noodles section first. You may choose to have them hot or cold. But I'd prefer to eat them hot. However, Idham tells me the Japanese people like their noodles cold. After that, choose which type you'd like and whether large or small. After noodles, then there's Oden. Make sure you bring a tray along.
The choice is yours. This big round thing is actually turnip.
Alright, this is mine. Oh, the noodles are simply delicious. I wouldn't mind another round of it. The Japanese tempura is unbelievably tasty. I honestly don't know how they prepare it. It's very crunchy outside but soft inside. And it's not even oily.
I purposely want to try this Salmon Onigiri. The taste is alright but I prefer our rice with anchovies sambal. Hahaha
Another type of food that you'll never fail to find there is turnip. The Japanese love turnips. But aren't turnips good for health. That's why since I got back in Malaysia, I have been buying turnips. Guess I'll make turnip soup today.
After eating, please leave your tray at this particular counter. It's an open counter built next to the sink. Your courteous gesture will be greeted with warm smiles of the restaurant workers. And hear them say "Arigatou Gozaimas" to you which means "Thank You" in Japanese. That's for making their job easy. Doesn't it feel good to be appreciated like that?
This culture is part and parcel of their lives. I always encourage my kids to do the same after eating. When eating out at Mc Donald's for instance, I'd tell them to throw whatever leftovers into the bin and to put away the tray neatly. Even though these eateries hire workers to clear the table from leftovers, I'd rather have my kids do it themselves. I tell them not to make a mess and not to leave leftovers on the table. That's bad table manners.
Try eating here. The food is nice and the place is cozy.
The airport installs machines for IC cards. Better to buy one now so that when the amount finishes we only need to top it up.
This one is for a single ticket or pass. The yellow button with the image of a person indicates this. You can even get a card for one family. Isn't that great?
Such state of the art facilities they have here in Japan. All of this for the benefit of its citizens as well as tourists. And because their technology is far more advanced, we'll just have to catch up with it. Or else we'll be left behind by the train. Hahaha...
Now that our stomachs are full, let's go check in at Nikko Hotel. Just need to cross over to get there. It's good to stay at Nikko Hotel so that you don't have to worry about not reaching the airport on time.
So here's my room. Looks pretty cool, doesn't it? Pak Radie's room is just next door. I have gone to take a look at it only to fall into deep slumber while Pak Radie continues to attend to his luggage.
The toilet is neither small nor big. It's just nice.
After putting our luggage in our rooms, we leave to get to Rinku Premium Outlet. I'd like to suggest that on your last day of stay, to visit Rinku Premium Outlet and to stay at Nikko Hotel. It's convenient because it takes only about 10 minutes to get to Rinku Premium Outlet from Kansai Airport. Spend all the remaining Yen that you have so you can fly home peacefully and cheerfully. Hahaha...
RINKU PREMIUM OUTLETS
It is really easy to get to Rinku Premium Outlet. Just go to Terminal 1 and queue at Platform 12.
Tickets only cost only 200 yen (RM6) per person and the journey takes about 10 minutes. During the journey, the snow starts to fall heavily. I clap and cheer happily, saying "Hip Hip Hurray" out loud. Hahah.
A row of vending machines. Just pick your favourite drink.
I guess the weather at Rinku Premium Outlet is the coldest throughout my stay in Japan. Hahah. It's so cold that my face feels numb. Even my tongue feels numb and my speech is slurred. So it's better to keep quiet than to utter a bunch of nonsense.
Just as we arrive, the snow starts to fall even more. Notice the snow flakes on my jacket?
Having trouble seeing, Pilla? Hehehe. All of a sudden I'm out here alone. The others have gone into the shops to get away from the freezing weather. Hope you don't think I'm a nutcase. Even Idham is nowhere to be seen. Hehehehe.
Let's all follow me to the Information Counter to know where the prayer room is.
This lady is explaining to me the shops that give discounts.
We too will be getting coupon books. Actually by showing our passport at the shop counters, we'll be given extra discount because we're tourists and not locals.
I ask for the prayer room. She says the security officer will show me the room.
This door is always locked and that's why we must inform them if we want to use the prayer room.
Men and women share the same prayer area. So if you're not a mahram, please wait for your turn outside patiently, okay?
I ask Idham what is written on that piece of paper? He says that this a wakaf telekung (prayer clothing) left by Malaysians who prayed here. If I knew that this place is short of telekung, I wouldn't mind leaving my own telekung here.
Rinku Premium Outlet is really huge. It's best to come early in order to explore this place.
This map ought to show us what we're looking for.
Do I look pale?
This place is divided into two. You'll need to climb up the bridge in order to get to the other side.
See that row of buildings across the road?
Beautiful place, isn't it?
There are a variety of shops here. Amongst them are Coach. Banana Republic, BCBG Maxazria, GAP, Folli Follie, Replay, Quicksilver, Timberland, Vans, Lacoste, Levi's, Kate Spade and many others. The ones mentioned are offering discounts. Still there are many more boutiques to visit, almost 210 outlets altogether. Please surf http://www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/en/rinku/ for details.
None of us are buying anything for ourselves. I'm only buying clothes for my kids. Also because I want to use up all of the remaining Yen before I leave for home tomorrow. The sales of 40% to 50% are driving us crazy. Another 8% discount if we show our passport at the cashier counter. It's worth buying even if we're just guessing their sizes. A pair jeans here costs only RM20. Cheap yet fashionable.
There's also Furla. I'd really like get a fashionable black handbag for myself. Pity I don't have the means for it at this moment. So I'll just have to admire it from here.
Yeay, I've finally decided to buy my kids LEGO toys. They are a little expensive as there is no discount for these toys. But as a parent, I will feel bad if I don't get them these toys and moreover I don't want to be asked again and again if I have bought any toys for them. As long as I can get them something even though it's not much, I'll feel at ease. Hehehe...
Do you see that plastic bag? All of those toys are for my kids. I tell Pak Radie, "Dear, we didn't buy anything for ourselves, right? Only for the kids. I hope you don't mind." Pak Radie says, "Of course not, dear. I only want our kids to be happy. And why didn't you buy anything for yourself?" Oh, what a gentleman Japan has turned you into. Hahaha. As for me, I don't want anything, honestly. I only like travelling because it gives me such joy and experience. I get to see different cultures and countries.
Wish I could have a ride. But people are not riding it instead they in the shops trying to get away from the extremely cold weather.
Since there's no more shopping to do, let's have something to eat.
Can't make up our minds whether to eat here or at the airport. I'm okay with both.
A drug store...how convenient.
Finally, we're going to have sushi to eat. Let's see what to order.
The salmon served is the freshest I've seen. I'll just put a piece in my mouth, shut my eyes as chew it slowly before finally swallowing it. Emmm, delicious!
You may mix your own green tea at this corner. My oh my, clumsy Idham has spilt some green tea on the sauce bottle. Oh dear!
Hot water is available at this table corner. Very convenient.
Here, Help yourself to this delicious fish roe.
I failed at this dish. Usually I'd have it eaten in a jiffy. But this time the fish somehow wasn't to my taste. I put a piece in my mouth and boy, did I have trouble swallowing it. Hahaha. I forced Idham to Help me finish the rest.
This is even tastier. Could feel it bursting in my mouth...my favourite.
Please don't get confused, okay. The picture doesn't show chicken but fish. Looks tiny but it's tasty.
I feel so full...let's see the time. Gosh! The bus will be arriving anytime now. Let's run for it. Are you crazy! You want us to run with a full tummy and puke along the road?
For your convenience, I've put up the bus schedule of Kansai Airport - Rinku Premium Outlet.
From Kansai Airport to Rinku Premium Outlet.
The table on the left is reserved for Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. For weekdays, see the table on the right. You can wait at Terminal 1 and go up to Platform 12.
From Rinku Premium Outlet to Kansai Airport.
The last bus is at 8.00 pm.
That's why we are running like mad to get there. Hahaha. The Japanese are always punctual. Whoever is late will have to miss the bus.
Upon reaching Kansai Airport, I ask Idham to join me at Starbucks for a cup of coffee. I've been wanting to visit Starbucks but couldn't due to my tight schedule. And since today is my last day here, I won't miss it for anything.
Kansai International Airport
On the way to Starbucks, I notice another halal restaurant at Kansai Airport. But I'm too full to eat any more. Don't worry, guys. Kansai Airport has a variety of restaurants that serve halal Japanese food.
Japan is famous for it menu displays. There are even classes that teach people this skill. The displays look real and tempting. Makes my tummy growl just looking at it.
Do drop by Sojibou if you want a taste of halal food at Kansai Airport. I'd like to but my stomach is too full to take in anymore food.
Would like bought a Pokemon toy if my kids were a fan of it. But since they are not, I could save my money instead.
Kansai Airport provides coin lockers for travelers like me to keep our bags and things so that we can move around easily at the airport. There are just too many shops that I don't even have the opportunity to drop by Uniqlo. Only managed to pass by it.
After chatting for quite a while, we head for our rooms for the night. Pak Radie and I busily pack our bags in our separate rooms. Feeling bored, I whatsapp Peej and Elly. That doesn't keep me quiet though. Just can't stand being alone. Guess I'll go and check on Pak Radie. To my surprise he's still busily packing. Never mind, I'll just lay down here for a while and zzzz...Okay, I'm up now. What? It's dawn already? How did I sleep through all those hours?
The morning of 10th February 2015 is the day of our departure for Malaysia. Mixed feelings of joy and sadness overcome us. Getting a bit emotional, Kak Pilla? Hahaha. Come on, let's have breakfast at Nikko Hotel Osaka instead. Let's see if the menu there is just as mouth watering.
Fish and vegetables are a must over here.
Well, I'm a village girl so I'm used to eating rice in the morning. What a pleasure to find anchovies and curry here. I never expected the Japanese to know how to cook anchovies sambal.
Unbelievably fresh bean curd (tofu) and mushroom. Let's have some soup now.
Now that we've eaten, let's get our bags and check out of the hotel. The airport is pack with people and I don't want to be late. While the rest of us are heading home to Malaysia, Idham is taking the flight back to Tokyo.
Thank you, Idham for being with us throughout our visit in Osaka and Kyoto. Even though we live through tight schedules, Alhamdulillah we've managed to get there and to share this memorable trip in this blog. May this experience be useful to others, Insya Allah. But most of all, the sweet memories of this visit will forever remain in my heart.
May we be blessed with rez' and long life so as to meet again. If you're back in Malaysia, please whatsapp me. I'll prepare a sumptuous meal for you to come over and to enjoy it.
A million thanks to Japan Tourism and Nuffnang for this unforgettable experience. And lots of thanks to you too, Idham.
During my flight via Malaysia Airlines System. Which shall I have now, nasi lemak of Japanese pasta. Of course, I'll have Japanese pasta!!! I love Japan! *all of a sudden*.
Don't forget to surf the website http://muslimguide.jnto.go.jp/eng/ for further information. Click on it and you'll see me there.